Standard Active Last Updated: Dec 13, 2022
ASTM E1311-14(2022)

Standard Practice for Minimum Detectable Temperature Difference for Thermal Imaging Systems

Standard Practice for Minimum Detectable Temperature Difference for Thermal Imaging Systems
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Significance and Use

5.1 This practice gives a measure of a thermal imaging system's effectiveness for detecting a small spot within a large background. Thus, it relates to the detection of small material defects such as voids, pits, cracks, inclusions, and occlusions.

5.2 MDTD values provide estimates of detection capability that may be used to compare one system with another. (Lower MDTD values indicate better detection capability.)

5.3 Due to the partially subjective nature of the procedure, repeatability and reproducibility are apt to be poor and MDTD differences less than 0.2 °C are considered to be insignificant.

Note 2: Values obtained under idealized laboratory conditions may or may not correlate directly with service performance.


1.1 This practice covers the determination of the minimum detectable temperature difference (MDTD) capability of a compound observer-thermal imaging system as a function of the angle subtended by the target.

1.2 The values stated in SI units are to be regarded as standard. No other units of measurement are included in this standard.

1.3 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety, health, and environmental practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.

1.4 This international standard was developed in accordance with internationally recognized principles on standardization established in the Decision on Principles for the Development of International Standards, Guides and Recommendations issued by the World Trade Organization Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Committee.

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Book of Standards Volume: 03.03
Developed by Subcommittee: E07.10
Pages: 3
DOI: 10.1520/E1311-14R22
ICS Code: 17.200.20